Saturday, April 20, 2024

Why Do I Feel Guilty?

My life plunges ahead and I keep thinking of my Bloggers and I find there is just no time ... or is it no motivation?  I just got a reminder from FB about one of the Bloggers that I read, who lives in Oklahoma (yeah, that wind sweeping down the plains... paradise!), intimating that this person could be a friend.  (Only FB data could "intimate").  It was not a friend request but one of those data mining things.  I am anonymous here on Blogger and clearly not anonymous on FB, but this does give one pause for thought about data mining, does it not? I thought I recognized her face...which is like going to a concert and seeing someone you think you know and then weeks later realizing it was someone from a former job!  

For those few who are empaths (poets in disguise) and worried...I am fine.  For those of you trying to remember who the hell I am...I am fine and still functioning with my photos and travel and navel-gazing--remember her(?)...and for those of you who DGAS...good for you!

I got back a few weeks ago from an expensive and remarkable and never-imagined cruise along the coast of South America.  I can post a few photos (LORD! I took 4,000.).   Maybe I will.  It was a cruise I would never have taken, except my 3 siblings and their spouses were going and they live so far away, I intuitively knew this would be golden.  It was listed as an "expedition."  That should give you a clue if you know anything about marketing.  Everyone there was over 60!  We did take Zodiac, Special OPs vehicles, and even a submarine to explore the ocean area.  There was also some land exploration of Santiago, Ushuaia, Buenas Aires, and a few small islands.

My husband's dementia was only mildly a problem.  He came back and had enough energy to go by himself to Ft. Lauderdale (his hometown) at the request of an environmental organization for a few days!

Yes, a lot of "S" has happened in my life.

Details?  Questions?  

Oh photos...Hell yes.  Next!

Tuesday, February 27, 2024

And at the End of the Day..

I have been busy or perhaps just need more recovery time before taking up the blog again. 

For instance, today I have my cleaning helper, the arrival of a plumber to fix the leaking bar sink in the kitchen (something I could do if I pretzel myself once again) and in the afternoon some overnight company is coming in from Connecticut. A younger me would have shrugged my shoulders while the older me keeps lists of everything...sheets that need changing from my son's recent visit, cleaning the bar sink area for the plumber, and meal planning for guests that have allergies. 

We just said goodbye to some visitors from Hawaii last week. Not much cooking was needed there as both had picked up some intestinal bug from a fancy restaurant during their layover in California! We caught up between their visits to the bathroom.  One wanted oysters and was brave enough to eat two from our dock cages.  Then we sent them off on their trip to Portugal.

Also, today I am adjusting to dementia in someone very smart.  Hubby has started an oyster farm(!) to hang on to our oyster sanctuary lease owned by all of our neighbors.  The only way we can save the lease is to make it commercial!  Please do not ask me why the government insists on us harvesting our great water cleaners, but I think it has something to do with the oystermen and their lobbying efforts.  A sanctuary with maybe a 10% harvest would have made so much more sense, but they are abolishing sanctuaries!

Hubby is plunging ahead with the naive view that he can do this as he is an environmentalist.  I, in the meantime, have made him schedule an appointment with a lawyer to make sure that the forms he signs do not co-mingle our personal funds with whatever money is involved in "farm".  Needless to say, this is a huge interruption in my day as he cannot really figure out all the details of the USDA forms.  (They have given him a three-year grant of $180,000!)  I think my son has already made the application for the LLC, but I cannot reach my husband via his phone!  Dementia be damned!

Pushing 80, I have no interest in any of this.  I want to watch birds at the feeder, read poetry and mysteries, take walks, capture some early spring sunsets on my camera, and watch British TV.  I might even start trying to make bread again.

Sunday, January 28, 2024

When the Ceiling is Starting to Fall

Imagine that when you get up in the morning the ceiling to your abode looks about 1/4 inch lower. You do not notice it at first, but something is wrong and you know it, even though you cannot put your finger on it. 

You go to an Architect and he looks at the ceiling and says not to worry because it seems just fine to him. 

The next morning you get up and you are sure that the ceiling has moved, but you have a busy week ahead and you ignore that. A few months go by and you notice the ceiling is almost 1/2 inch lower. Still, it is smooth and no paint is chipped, and it seems that when people come to visit they do not notice, or the change is so small they politely ignore it. There are no cracks where it joins the wall. Odd? 

 You wait a few more months and then make an appointment with a building engineer. He comes by and shakes his head in agreement. He says he has seen this before. "Not much you can do, but keep an eye on it." He gives you a gallon of lighter-colored paint to make the ceiling look higher. It seems cosmetic, but you do it anyway. 

A year passes and the ceiling is definitely lower and looking looming! You have been working at other activities ignoring it, but did move down the drapery rods so that they no longer touch the top of the ceiling. The engineer says you are lucky that you built the house with such high ceilings because those homes with lower or regular ceilings have less flexibility in dealing with the changes. 

As the months pass you realize that just moving drapery rods is the smallest of sacrifices that are going to be made in the months and perhaps, years ahead. The windows themselves may soon get pressure and then be dangerous! Yes, you can crawl on your hands and knees for a while, but eventually, the house will collapse and you will have to move.  If you live with someone who cannot crawl, that will have to be fixed!

Well, if you have followed me this far, I appreciate your stubborn tenacity.  Above is a rather weak analogy, and yet something that came to me when I was having a man who had been laid off and needed money come to add some trim to my bookcases and paint the cracks in my house.  It took three days of living in spackle dust and chair covers and a lack of privacy.  It was surprisingly stressful.

Above is the story of how looming pressure affects those of us who live with someone who has dementia.  Days go by and you do not notice.  Then one morning he asks you the same question three times within a half hour.  At dinner, he thinks he is eating a salad of tomatoes and avocados and it is a salad of orange slices and avocados.  During a busy day, he may interrupt me 5 to ten times to help him with an email, a phone call, or to find something important.

Please do not praise me for my patience.  I have no patience.  It is tax season, and there is a big project being set up (ANOTHER LONG TEDIOUS STORY), and we have a two-week cruise in March with lots of details.  My family is going on this cruise, so we really want to join them as it may very well be the last time we are all together.

I have cajoled and argued and sighed on the worst days, and then a week of normal goes by and I forget where I am in the grand scheme of things.  Yes, there are lots of tools and helpful procedures and I have started to use a few.  I also think writing about it is helpful to me, while perhaps annoying to my readers.

Wednesday, January 24, 2024


My breath that is...I am just trying to catch... my...breath.  I was looking forward to a break after the holidays, maybe daily bubble baths, maybe reading some books from a series...actually re-reading them.  Sipping a bourbon and soda while watching a Britbox mystery.

But even before the first cold snap of January, I found that my weeks were filling once again.  Doctor's appointments for both me and my husband,  a volunteer thank-you luncheon at the mission center, and pick up the Grand-dog in the city for a four-day visit.

This was followed by my laptop refusing to work and the purchase of a new laptop.  They are NEVER plug and play, so some of the stuff did not transfer as well as other stuff.  That meant a day (or more) of working out the bugs.

The next week was playing tag with a chatbot and various appliance repair people to have them fix the wheels on my freezer shelf which was still under warranty.  Then my sis-in-law suggested we add two days to the front end of our upcoming trip in March (that will be for the next blog) and I find have little patience for dealing with airplane websites...but ended up paying someone to assist.  That only took TWO DAYS.  Then I had to find the hotel and call them to cancel a reservation and make a new one two days earlier.

Master gardener meetings and an educational seminar, etc. filled the evenings.

This week is stuffed with planning excursions for our March trip, assisting my husband with a talk he insists on giving at the Senior Center, and finally being around for a friend who has been laid off and needs a job, and thus I have lots of painting and patching for him to do in this not-so-old house.

Oh, one thing I forgot was I am starting to label some of our light switches.  Hubby's dementia means he spends time flipping switches but forgets to flip back if they are not what he wants.  

He still drives, but when that ends, my life as I know it will be very full as he loves getting out and about.

Ok, your turn.  And you had better come up with something less tedious.

Thursday, January 11, 2024

Some Trivia and There Will NOT Be a Test.

    2024 arrived here with several days of heavy rain and winds. Cities to the north are flooded, but they lie close to the Bay and usually flood when rains are this heavy and tides this high. We sit on a small hill that is about 18-20 feet above high tide and thus should be dry until we move or pass on. The water did wash over our dock. We went up to the daughter's house for Christmas. 

 We arrived the night before and did the traditional drive-by of the neighborhood light shows and then came home to eat dinner and watch "The Polar Express." This is a tradition hardened over the years and cannot be broken. In the morning we sorted gifts but did not open, waiting for my son and his family. After virtual Christmas mass from the TV, the guys watched football and the gals and the grandson home from RIT watched a comedy romance in the kitchen while we waited for the breakfast casseroles to heat up. It was NOT that cold. Just this family is always big in wraps.
Then when my son and his wife and the toddler arrived everything broke into celebratory chaos.
It was lovely with the 4 grandchildren and both of my children and their spouses. I did not cook a single thing and my daughter prepared easy meals. The gift opening is my least favorite part of the day. I usually forget what I had wrapped and I usually worry that I have no idea what they will want! (I of course have absolutely everything I could ever want on this day, so gifts for me are an aside.) We have a toddler now, and she stole the show. She still does not know what the holiday is all about but she had fun tearing off wrapping paper. It was exhausting and then the son and his wife and the toddler joined us here at my house for the garden in the lights display that is put up every year the week before New Year. This is a big deal and a good money maker for the sculpture garden. It takes them days to cover the two acres with lights.
The event had a perfect ending when we found a stuffed toy turtle on a stick in the gift shop and my granddaughter "walked" it all the way to the car!  She had just watched a cartoon movie about turtles the night before.

And above toddler's hand prints on my deck door was the perfect ending.

Saturday, December 30, 2023

Hanging In There

Finally, the tail end of the long winter celebration is almost done. I have my son and DIL and their little girl coming down this evening. We will be going to a "Festival in the Lights' on the evening of New Year's Day. It is a precious time and I have filled the freezer and refrigerator with pre-made foods. I am nursing a very mild virus (not acting like a cold and not acting like the flu), but certainly makes me feel tired and want to drink hot toddies all day and then sleep.  

I will be recharged by the time they arrive tonight.  We finished all the homemade chicken soup I made two days ago, so I am heating up store-bought.  Hubby has no longer moved into cooking with his dementia.

I have no reason to feel sorry for myself.  I certainly am a privileged old soul.  I can afford crappy pre-made food that tastes better than what many consume elsewhere.  

Above is a photo of us returning after the traditional light drive by.
My DIL said her parents were coming, but then her father came down with COVID and they were not...and now I see photos of them at her house celebrating a belated Christmas in texts, so I really do not know how many guests I will have.

Maybe they are coming?? Maybe not?

I have learned to go with the flow.  Hubby and I will eat store-bought chicken pot pies tonight because the guests are arriving after 8:00PM.  Hubby is out with our electrician, all day today, fixing the dock electric line.  I am lying in bed and reading Obama's first title on his book list, "The Heaven and Earth Grocery Store".  It is good if not great. 

My Christmas was fine with all of the Grands getting something they wanted.  A hand strengthener for my rock climber grandson, a 3-D printer for the younger grandson ( which he proceeded to get chemicals in his eyes while setting it up!), and lots of clothes, jewelry, and cosmetics for my granddaughter.

It is all a little busy for me.  I look forward to January.  I hope all fell into a casual place with your Christmas.  I actually attended a Catholic Mass...virtually.  I also liked the sermon which is a generous review.

Sunday, December 17, 2023


I am amazed every holiday season, but perhaps this one more than others, at how fast time is moving and how my days are truly numbered.  Age creeps up on humans like a snail from across the meadow, but when that snail is within eyesight, you can really see that it is MOVING!!

Below is a photo I took about six or seven years ago.  That sweet tall boy is now in college!  Being the worrier that I am, I used to worry about him living on a busy street and now I worry about him rock climbing.

That sweet girl on the right is now a young woman cheering on the high school football team, and the little tiger in the lower left plays flag football and gets A's in math.

My heart gets so full of love for them that it brings tears to my eyes and makes me realize how very lucky I am this holiday season.  And it does not go without saying I have a sweet new girl to follow as the snail follows me.


My life moves slowly like the snail and his life is on uber speed.